The tipping fees at the Washington landfill will change beginning May 1.

The Washington City Council Monday approved the recommendation by city staff to raise the fees at the Struckoff Landfill to $70 per ton and reduce the minimum fee to $15.

Currently the landfill fees are $47.50 per ton with a minimum fee of $17.50.

City Engineer John Nilges said the new fees will bring the landfill better in line with other landfills and transfer stations within the region.

“We were significantly below competing landfills,” he said.

Nilges explained that the reduction in the minimum fee will benefit Washington residents who take a “curbside” load to the landfill.

The city’s fees compare to other regional landfill fees of $69.67 per ton at the Champ Landfill, Maryland Heights; $64 per ton at Timber Ridge Landfill, Richwoods; $78.24 per ton at the Jefferson City Landfill; and $60.78 per ton at the Valley Park Transfer Station.

“The review of tipping fees on other communities pretty much tells the story,” said Nilges.

City officials previously have estimated that 15 percent of the users of the landfill are Washington residents, while 85 percent are commercial haulers from outside the city limits.

The current landfill permit on the Struckhoff farm property off of Bluff Road expires in about two years. There is more acreage available to expand the landfill, but that would require new permitting by the state, which would take one year. It would extend the life another five to six years.

However, with the cost of expanding the facility and more stringent state standards, it makes sense to look for an alternative method

City officials are looking at alternative ways to dispose of trash — including the likely option of a solid waste transfer station.

The city of Washington operates one of the smallest landfills in the state.

A transfer station is a processing site for the temporary deposition of waste. Transfer stations are often used as places where local waste collection vehicles will deposit their waste cargo prior to loading into larger vehicles and transported to a landfill.